On The Download: The Black Eyed Peas, 'The E.N.D.'

Yay!!! The first big pop music mainstream piece of summer solace and pure guilty-pleasure fun has arrived!

The Peas have done it again – with an album full of anthems that will keep boomboxes bumpin’ on beaches from coast-to-coast with catchy hooks, sexy samples and sing-able lyrics, from now until Labor Day (and likely Labor Day 2010 as well!). It doesn’t get any better than this from Will.i.Am and his gang.

The album leads off with a future-sounding voice welcoming you to “The E.N.D.” – “Everything around you is changing,” the voice says. “Nothing stays the same…. Energy Never Dies…” And with that promise, we’re launched into lead single, “Boom Boom Pow,” which, unless you’ve been living in the Costa Rican jungle with Spencer & Heidi (and probably even then!), you’ve heard non-stop everywhere for the past two months.

Second song, “Rock That Body,” doesn’t let up for a second – with its ever-recognizable sample of “I wanna rock right now,” from Rob Base and DJ Eazy Rock’s 1989 anthem “It Takes Two.”

Fergie’s vocals are finally featured prominently in third track, “Meet Me Halfway,” a more mid-tempo (but no less radio-friendly) song – the track eases up on the non-stop energy of the lead two tracks.

Fourth track, “Imma Be,” is a classic Peas self-empowerment song, with more of an authentic hip-hop egotistic feel.

Fifth track is the second single, “I Gotta Feeling” –- which will probably be used in about 15 product commercials and movies from now until 2015. An uplifting positive electro-future dance club anthem – refrain sings, “I gotta feeling … that tonight’s gonna be a good night,” reminds of Daft Punk’s “One More Time” with a unique Peas twist. It might also be the first Top 40 song to successfully rhyme “Mazel Tov” (Hebrew translation: “Congrats!”) … like… ever.

The rest of the album stays equally strong. Other standout tracks include “Alive,” which cleverly mimics the refrain from 2005’s “My Humps” in a sort of coda response to the catchiest track from the group’s last album, “Monkey Business.”

“Party All Night” is sure to be a favorite with its hooking “Party All The Time” refrain (Eddie Murphy will be kicking himself! He was first with that line!). The reggaeton “Electric City” features Fergie in a genre we’ve never heard from her before.

But nothing might be more fun than “Now Generation” – the Peas’ ode to technology and the era of immediacy – where quite literally… they name check everything from Wi-Fi to Facebook-- Technorati, Gizmodo and MoveOn.org, you’ve found your new anthem.

The album is truly listenable from start to finish. Put it on at the gym, at the club, in the car… heck, at work – and just enjoy.

Summer 2009 is finally here.

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